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Independent 'no-blame' investigations of transport accidents and other safety occurrences

This section describes the ATSB’s performance relating to the ATSB’s role as the independent ‘no-blame’ transport safety investigator, as published on page 7 of the ATSB Corporate Plan 2020–21.

Aviation investigations

In 2020–21, the ATSB initiated or upgraded 11 systemic investigations, six defined safety investigations and 31 short investigations. In addition, six external investigations commenced.

During this reporting period, the ATSB completed five systemic and 26 defined occurrence investigations, and nine external investigations. The ATSB also completed 23 short aviation occurrence investigations.

As at 30 June 2021, there were eight ongoing systemic, 29 ongoing defined and 28 ongoing short investigations, and six external investigations.

Marine investigations

In 2020–21, the ATSB initiated two defined investigations, one short occurrence investigation and two external investigations.

During this reporting period, the ATSB completed one systemic, one defined and one external investigation.

As at 30 June 2021, the ATSB continues to investigate five marine occurrences (four as defined investigations, one as a short investigation) and one external investigation.

Rail investigations

In 2020–21, the ATSB initiated or upgraded four systemic rail occurrence investigations and six short rail occurrence investigations.

During this reporting period, the ATSB completed one systemic and five defined rail occurrence investigations.

As at 30 June 2021, the ATSB continues to investigate 16 rail safety occurrences (four systemic, seven defined and five short investigations).

Preparedness for a major accident

Being prepared to respond quickly and effectively to a major aviation, rail or marine accident is a key function of the ATSB. To maintain preparedness, the ATSB actively participates in practical exercises to test the effectiveness of response arrangements. The ATSB also has a Major Investigation Preparedness Plan (MIPP). The MIPP includes a comprehensive suite of procedures and information. The MIPP and preparedness activities ensure that the ATSB is ready to respond effectively to a major transport accident.